Ramadan is your opportunity for a second chance
The Quran and Hadith inform us that when a person will die, when a person will enter the grave and when a person will stand before Allah ﷻ on the day of judgement he will beseech respite by asking ‘O Allah, give us another chance.’ These people will also make the same request to the Angels who will remind them ‘What was it not that Allah ﷻ already gave you infinite chances?’. The Angels will remind these people about the glorious month of Ramadan, the blessed month came every year and was an opportunity for those who truly sought a second chance. Allah ﷻ will reply ‘I didn’t just give you this one life, rather every morning when you awoke I gave you a new life, look how many lives you have lived’. Likewise, we are given the opportunity in Ramadhan to correct and amend our ways. It is an opportunity to repent and make a fresh start.
Ramadan is a like a mountain of free gold
The example of Ramadan is like a mountain of gold. Imagine you are told that you can enter the mountain for thirty days and gather from that mountain as much gold as you like for yourself. Then you enter on the first day and sleep and laze around for the rest of the twenty-nine days. When your time to leave the mountain arrives you leave only with copper and stones.
What do you think your family and general people will say about you? Somebody, who was given the chance of a lifetime wasted it and even after thirty days came back with nothing! What a hopeless person.
Similarly, Ramadan is like this mountain and Allah ﷻ has given us the chance once again to accumulate as much treasure as possible in this month. However, most of us collect nothing other than hunger or thirst.
Fasting or Starving?
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that “Perhaps a person fasting will receive nothing from his fasting except hunger and thirst” [Ibn Majah, Sahih]. From this it is meant that some of us have spent the entire duration of Ramadan fasting with the stomach but we haven’t even gained an inch of reward. Why is that?
Read carefully and see what is about to be written in terms of Preparation of Ramadhan. Preparation can’t be done after Ramadhan, it is done beforehand, now. So read on with an intention to start today!
In order to truly benefit from your fast and attain more than just hunger and thirst then you will need to challenge yourself in more ways than just abstaining from food. Rather you will need to adopt the spiritual fast. Below is an easy method for you to bring in to your day-to-day life.
Levels of Spiritual Fasting (See featured image for Images of Levels)
To abstain from eating, drinking and marital relationships from dawn to dusk. To perform Salah 5 times a day, perform Tarawih at the end of the night.
This level will only boost your Taqwa level just a little bit. It doesn’t improve your spiritual fast a great deal but it does have a little affect.
Fasting is not only Fardh upon your stomach. Fasting is on the ‘whole self’. This level is therefore to make your tongue, eyes and feet keep the fast. Fasting of these sensual organs means that you should refrain from sins of these organs.
This level challenges you to make the whole body fast. This includes fasting of all seven sensual organs of the body: 1. Tongue, 2. Eyes, 3. Ears, 4. Hands, 5. Stomach, 6. Private Parts and 7. Feet.
Fasting with all the sensual organs helps us shield our heart from darkness of sin. Refraining from sins of the organs is like spiritual training.
In this level you are not only abstaining from sins of all organs but you are also replacing the negative traits with the positive traits. So you are performing good deeds with the tongue, eyes, ears and so forth.
In this fast you also fast with your mind. How does the mind fast? To refrain from thinking of bad thoughts. If Shaitan tries to make that whisper enter into the mind you reject it immediately.
In this level with the mind again you refrain fom bad thoughts as well as replacing them with positive and good thoughts, about Jannah, about the creation of Allah, about the blessings in one’s life, the life of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and so forth
In this level one is to think, especially at the times of worship (Ibadat) deeply about Allah ﷻ. One is to think about Allah ﷻ with the heart that ‘Allah is with me, Allah is watching me and Allah is listening to me’.
This is the highest level of fasting. In this level the person falls into the real presence of Allah ﷻ and of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ all throughout the month. This is the highest boost of Taqwa and this will benefit the individual for the remaining eleven months of the year.
What level have you chosen?
If you have spent all of your previous Ramadan’s just fasting with the stomach on an outward basis then you have not really gleaned the essence and core of Ramadan. Why not make this Ramadan the one for change, the one where you reap the rewards and benefits from fasting with the whole self?
Make a decision from today about which level you would like to keep your fasts at. Then make sure you try your best to keep the fast it in the proper way. The preparation starts now!
Beautiful Hadith regarding the first night of Ramadan
We leave you with a beautiful Hadith to ponder over:
Sayyidina ibn Abbas narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷻ said:
“Surely, paradise is decorated the whole year for Ramadan to come. When the first night of Ramadan enters, a wind called ‘Musira’ blows from the bottom of the Skies. The leaves of the trees of Paradise and the handles of the doors of paradise shake strongly and from that a remarkable sound is made. The listeners have never heard a more beautiful sound than that. The Hûris of Paradise appear standing on the highest point of Paradise and declare: ‘is there anybody who wants to become engaged with us and has the intention to marry us?’ Then the Huris ask, ‘O the keeper of Paradise! What night is tonight?’ The keeper replies with respect, ‘Tonight is the first night of the month Ramadan. The doors of Paradise were opened for the ones from the ummah (community) of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who observed fasting’”.
These are the majestic sights and experiences those whose Ramadan is accepted. For those who enter and inhabit the heavenly realms.
What to do next?
Choose your level of fast today and contact your mentor so that you can be assigned the relevant task sheet. You can monitor your progress online or on an android device.
You may watch the Fasting Series online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aesI6GV57z0 for a detailed outline of the Ramadan course.
Have a blessed, life-changing Ramadan.
Remember the Prophetic Path team as well as the Ummah in your prayers and duas.